Part 2: Weight training
7:40 a.m.: The veteran skill players split up into groups for the bench press and squat. Also on the docket today are the glute/hamstring raise, shoulder press, triceps extension and shoulder “pre-hab” to prevent injury.
The Drake song “Yolo” blares over the speakers. On a projector on a far wall, black-and-white video footage of guys squatting and benching obscene amounts of weight provides motivation for the players. Also on the walls are inspirational messages like “victory is reserved for those who are willing to pay the price.”
On the bench press, Lunt is spotting Clint Chelf, one of the quarterbacks he beat out for the starting job.
Calcagno jokingly tells Brown he's “getting old” during a bench press set, but then changes his tune when the corner benches 305 pounds. “Easy … could have done 315,” Calcagno says.
9 a.m.: All players have trickled out of the weight room. This complete session will repeat at 1:30 p.m.
3:45 p.m.: The late afternoon weight room group is made up of offensive and defensive linemen and all freshmen who were not here for spring football. The size difference is somewhat comical.
During a clear competition between the O-Line and D-Line on squat, the D-Line is definitely more vocal. Anthony Rogers lets out a “woo!” after a big set, and Tudman responds with, “All day! That's child's play!” When end Nigel Nicholas gets ready for two reps of 545 pounds, he draws a big crowd at his platform that erupts with cheers when he finishes.
Watching Calcagno interact with the freshmen is entertaining. He has to be part mentor, part baby sitter, part tough guy. He aggressively high-fived Ashton Lampkin after a successful set on the bench press and yelled “That's what it's supposed to look like!” But at the end of the workout, he stressed consistent effort to a different player. “You always want them to say, ‘Whoa,' rather than, ‘Giddy up.' We gotta tell you to ‘giddy up' too much,” he said.
In the final stretch of lifts, Epstein is showing off a blister on his right palm to Glass. “This ain't 24 Hour Fitness,” Glass replies.
Part 3: Metabolics
5:30 p.m.: Back on the field for this voluntary session. Sometimes it includes 7-on-7 play, but today, the Cowboys are split into position-specific drills.
I talk to Rob Glass for this story, only to be interrupted when Davidell Collins and Charlie Moore ask Glass if they can do their Friday workout on Wednesday instead, so they can go home for the weekend.
About 45 minutes later, Glass and I walk back through the OSU tunnel toward the weight room. He stops to hit the button to close the garage-style door over the tunnel. More than 12 hours after I had first arrived, the day is done.